Crimean bridge-the railroad bridge linking mainland Russia with the Crimean peninsula suffered major damage in a powerful blast on Saturday, hurting a crucial supply route.
The explosion which was caused by a truck that blew up while crossing the bridge killing three people has brought shipping from the Sea of Azov to international markets to a standstill.
19 km in length, the Crimean bridge which is the longest in Europe, straddles the Kerch Strait, linking the Sea of Azov with the Black Sea.
A flagship project for Putin, who opened it himself for road traffic with great fanfare by driving a truck across in 2018, the bridge consists of a separate roadway and railway, both supported by concrete stilts, which give way to a wider span held by steel arches at the point where ships pass between the Black Sea and the smaller Azov Sea.
The attack which is being called a terrorist attack carried, organized, and ordered by the Ukrainian secret services have hit both the road and rail elements of the huge construction, with much debris ending in the sea below.
Usually around 15 to 16 ships – mainly tankers, followed by bulkers – enter this strait either from the south or north daily.
On October 7, 19 ships entered the strait according to data from the shipping platform Sea/. The following day, when the bridge was attacked, five ships passed by and there have been no vessels passing through the waterway since, according to Sea/ with other vessel traffic sites showing congestion growing at ports in the Sea of Azov.
The Crimean bridge is crucial for the supply of fuel, food, and other products to Crimea, where the port of Sevastopol is the historic home base of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.